Top 10 Carry-on Bags

The following is a collection of carry-on luggage that I own, tried, or have covered in the past. I have a tendency to favor duffles or soft luggage that I can easily carry on my shoulder but wheeled, shoulder and backpack carry-ons are represented.

Mandarina Duck Isi Cabin Trolley

For most people the holiday travel season will be or will have come to an end. Unfortunately for some of us their was no holiday season at all. Of course with air travel comes the joys of lost or damaged luggage. Damaged either by trying to stuff far to many gifts into a small space or by the occasional disgruntled ground crew who take great joy in throwing your bag with great force. If you flew Air Canada, lost luggage is seemingly part of their service agreement, a fact we have confirmed a number of times. This may sound like a downer, and certainly losing al your gifts could certainly be, but if you look on the bright side this gives you the perfect opportunity to purchase some new quality luggage. And with that segue comes the Isi Cabin Trolley, another beautiful high quality bag from Mandarina Duck. The Isi series, or project as they cal it, is characterized by lightness and Mandarina Duck claims they are the lightest on the market. An important feature when you are traversing ever growing regional airports. The materials are lightweight, colourful and tough. The bag features an extending handle for trolley use, a further aside handle for carrying, a main inside zip closure with elesticated straps for clothes, a small internal pocket with zip closure, and an outside front pocket with zip closure and clever address tag.
Available at Rushfaster.

Kuvert travel bags

These stand in contrast to the usual practice of dumping a ton of storage on the exterior of a bag. These bags from Kuvert look far more sleek an they fold flat too.

The world in a bag. Sporty, casual and simple, the new KUVERT travel bags are the perfect companion for shopping, sports, weekends, parenting and travel. The unique look is the result of a ground-breaking use of custom-coated polyester fabric: each bag is cut out of a single piece, folded and welded along the edges. This allows the bags to fold flat for storage, yet the engineered expansion is inrivalled in spaciousness. The zippers run in both directions all the way to the base for easy packing and unpacking, and the carrying strap is removable. Kuvert bags are sturdy, water-proof and lightweight – sure to stand by you during your most exciting adventures.

kuvert travel bags

Tom Bihn’s Aeronaut Maximum Carry-On Bag

One of problems with carrying a duffle when traveling is how everything slides back and forth inside the main compartment. I solved this to an extent by buying a number of different Eagle Creek Pack-It Sac’s The Aeronaut solves this problem by dividing the compartment into thirds – a large main compartment with two “substantial” side pockets allow you to exert some control over your stuff from the outset. If you are using this as intended, as a carry-on, you might just be able to get away without using extra organizers all together.
I always associate Tom Bihn’s products with carrying laptops and though you could use a brain cell with this bag I’m a bit unsure as to how well it would work in practice.
As expected this bag has all the usual high quality materials you expect from a Tom Bihn bag including 1050 ballistic nylon and 10 YKK Uretek “splash-proof” zippers. It should fit most airline requirements for carry-on luggage but I have no doubt that this bag could survive even if you put it on the wing. Available from Tom Bihn.

Clark & Mayfield Quimby Rolling Laptop Tote

It has been over a year since I shared a bag find from the catalogue of Clark & Mayfield. At that time they were introducing a new men’s line and I still think their Mapleton Laptop bag is one of the nicer business briefs out there.
Their Quimby Rolling Laptop Tote has a beautiful quilted exterior complimented with leather trim and gold hardware. The nylon body and rubber coating on the bottom should keep the bag looking great for years. It should also help with clean ups the next time you drag your bag through a mud puddle as you race to grab a taxi. The interior has plenty of organizing pockets and folders, and it will fit most laptops in the 17″ range.
While I generally don’t like wheeled luggage of any kind, I feel it inhibits my mobility, my wife recently reminded me that not everyone can walk for hours with a heavy laptop on their back (or shoulder). She also complained that I don’t write enough about products that might interest women. I’m going to change that with the help of some new friends of the next month.
Lauri Delaczay started Clark & Mayfield with her husband Barry to simplify life by providing truly functional, yet fashionable bags to use everyday from home to work and school. Their belief is that functional products need not be unattractive, something I think we can all agree with.
Here are a few other notable bags from their catalogue:
Rosemont Leather Laptop Tote
Stafford Leather Rolling
Quimby Quited Laptop Brief
17″ Quimby Rolling Laptop Tote

Porter Carry-on Bag

I love this carry-on from Porter’s travel series of bags. Carry-on might be a bit of a misnomer as it’s large with a “45 liter” internal capacity (they have a smaller one). It’s been designed with long stays in mind. You should be aware of the difficulties in carrying on luggage this large, you may or may not have luck using this on domestic flights in Canada and the US. Thoughtful design of side pockets allowing you to carry your pleura of guidebooks and magazines.
You can order these online for shipping to the US or elsewhere. Cost is about $525.00US plus shipping.

Incase Overnite Bag

Incase Overnite Bag
While designed with skateboarders in mind, the Paul Rodriguez Signature Overnite Bag looks to be a near perfect fit for all urban travelers. It features protection for your laptop, back-pack shoulder straps, side-carrying and top-loading handles, and heavy-duty YKK zippers. The faux-fur lining and rubberized buckles are a nice touch. I appreciate the internal zippered storage compartments which keep all your clothes and gear organised and remove the necessity of carrying extra packing cubes. Made with weather resistant 1680D Ballistic Polyester.

Red Oxx Air Boss Carry-on Bag

Red Oxx Airboss Carry-on bag
A carry-on bag similar to Tom Bihn’s Aeronaut the Red Oxx Air Boss is touted as a “must have for anyone who’s away from home for anywhere up to a week at a time.” While Tom Bihn gets extra points for quality and durability this bag provides a more “structured” bag with three main compartments, two outside zippered pockets, an outside sleeve pocket, and tie-downs in the outer sections. It’s a smaller bag than Tom Bihn’s but with all the added hardware comes out a little heavier. Now with so many excellent choices in carry-ons such as these you really don’t need to check your baggage. Unless of course you like losing your luggage. The Air Boss is $225.00US and available in 12 different colours.

Gravis Jetway Carry On

If non-black wheelie luggage is your thing than the Jetway from Gravis has you covered. The Gravis Jetway bag features durable Nylon with PU2 backing, a book-like opening for easy packing and unpacking, skateboard wheels, a telescoping handle with a comfort grip, 2 top handles for easy loading and unloading, and an easy access exterior pocket. It also comes it comes with a toiletry bag and a separate large laundry bag. This is a nice departure from the bland without being too loud and garish.
Gravis Jetway Carry On Luggage

Timbuk2 Checkpoint Wheeled Luggage

Timbuk2 Checkpoint Wheeled Luggage
Well thought out bag with one of my favorite color schemes. Plenty of room while still following the carry-on size requirements of most airlines (check first). Features an internal compression, shoe pocket, interior laminated mesh pockets to stow toiletries, exterior front-panel pocket organizes travel accessories, a 1 qt. zip-top bag for stowing your liquids and gels, and rear slash pockets to keep magazine and travel documents within reach. Wheels are reportedly good but there have been some complaints of damage when checked. Available at REI.

Incase EO Collection

Simplicity seems to be the key word in bags lately. While I am unsure about the color, the modern space age styling and innovative fabrics make for a unique and attractive line of bags. Featuring water, dirt, and smell resistant NanoSphere fabric by Schoeller Textiles of Switzerland, the new Incase EO Collection includes messenger, duffel, and overnight bags. Add a laptop sleeve and their neat modular accessory pouches and you have all the bags you might need for casual travel.
Incase EO Collection

8 comments Write a comment

  1. Hello,
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  2. Hello,
    I came across your site from a Google alert for “travel accessories”. Since my product’s blog is related to this, and because Google is fond of content related links, I was hoping you’d be interested in a blogroll link exchange. This is where I link to your site, and you link to mine.
    For examples of this (under the “Blogroll” category on the right side of my blog), for more information on my product/blog, or to contact me, please visit .
    Thanks in advance for your consideration.

  3. Finding a bag that can fit your whole life in the least amount of space and within baggage weight allowances seems like an impossible task. I had to spend some time hunting it down but I finally found a Briggs & Riley 26ā€ Upright wheeled duffle that suits all my travel needs. I work for an international magazine and travel worldwide for photo shoots. Iā€™m more of a throw-everything into-a-bag-and-ready-to-go-traveler, except for occasional formal wear I might need for business meetings. This duffle has got a garment securing panel which works well for a few ironed shirts and pants. The smart-link system lets me attach a second bag which holds all my camera and stuff.

  4. Thanks for posting this. It is helpful to frequent business travelers who are always searching for the best carry-on bag. I plan to retweet this link on Twitter to call this article to the attention of other trade show and event professional.

  5. I stumbled upon this and immediately thought, “I hope they mention the Tom Bihn Aeronaut, because I’ve got mine sitting here right next to me, and it’s the perfect bag!”
    I’ve taken this bag to Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, China, and all over California. It seriously rules. It costs over $200 and is WELL worth the money. I doubt I’ll need to buy another bag again.